Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No Will But His-Sarah A. Hoyt

No Will But His
Sarah A. Hoyt
Berkley, Apr 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780425232514

Hoping to have learned from her late second cousin Anne Boleyn, ambitious poor orphan Katherine Howard believes she can survive being the bride of King Henry VIII in spite of her bloodlines; even if she wanted to say no, which she does not, Katherine knows no one lives to refuse the King anyway. Thus she shrewdly plans to foster the innocence of youth behind a docile nature that focuses on keeping her ultra proud spouse happy as her philosophy in No Will But His. When the aging Henry is unable to perform in bed, she takes his cousin on as a lover praying for a successor as the monarch's health deteriorates. However, like those before her, she is betrayed and exposed, and in her case imprisoned with her queenly role stripped away just a little over one year on the throne by Parliament before being executed for adultery.

The engaging fourth Wives of King Henry VIII biographical fiction novel is an intriguing look at Katherine Howard based on a different premise than the usual perception. Instead of the typical writing of Howard as a moron based on her writings, Sarah A. Hoyt believes the woman was clever, perhaps too cunning. Thus historical fiction fans will relish a different take on the rise and fall of Queen Katherine Howard.

Harriet Klausner

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